Friday, August 25

Taylor Swift Drops New "Edgy" Single That May Not Be All That Edgy

Taylor Swift, at long last, has finally graced us with some new music. I'll admit – I dig a fair amount of T-Swizzy's stuff. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" is wonderfully catchy and has a delightful music video, to boot. "Style" is so simple, yet such an earworm. 

This newest single, though, I'm not so sure about. "Look What You Made Me Do" takes shots at...well, just about everyone, though it does it in a pretty vague way. Kanye West is probably the most obvious target, though Katy Perry has had her squabbles with Swift, too. But the media, paparazzi, crazy fans – they all play a part here.

Swift has certainly used this narrative before. Many songs have an "I'm innocent, and I've been so, so, wronged" theme. In this case, rather than simply taking the abuse or having a goofy reply, Swift is doubling down and FIGHTING BACK. "The old Taylor can't come to the phone right now. Why? BECAUSE SHE'S DEAD." Damn. There's even another reference to having a list with someone's name on it.

The problem here is that the song itself isn't very good. The staccato delivery of lines in the verse is pretty annoying, and the whole song kind of has a "Meaghan Trainor meets Lorde on a really off-day" vibe to it. 

Of course, like many Swift songs, this could potentially grow on us, like some sort of parasite. But for now, I'd like to make a plea to Swift, Perry, Trainor, and any other pop star that's trying to be "hard" – stop with this fake rap/talking stuff and leave it to the people who are good at it. Show us you can actually sing, instead.

Thursday, August 17

The Beach Boys' "Wouldn't It Be Nice" In A Cappella Form Is Spectacular

Perhaps more than any band before them, the Beach Boys were incredible at harmonizing. One of the tunes that really shows this off is "Wouldn't It Be Nice," a song written by Brian Wilson, Mike Love, and Tony Asher, though Al Jardine gets a rare shot at lead vocals.

The track is the opener of the iconic Pet Sounds album and features a variety of instruments that were unusual at the time, like accordions and a detuned twelve-string guitar. You won't hear any of those in this video, though – it's strictly vocals. That doesn't make it any less impressive, though. Check out those harmonies!

Saturday, August 5

Drink on the Go with Backpack Wine

Of all the alcoholic beverages one can enjoy, wine is among the least portable. It's pretty silly to bring a giant bottle and corkscrew with you, and yes, while boxed wine exists, it either gets warm really quickly or is tough to properly pour into your cup. That's a problem when you need wine RIGHT NOW.

Luckily, Chicago-based Backpack Wine is available for all of wine-on-the-go needs. The canned wine comes in Cheek Rose and Snappy White flavors, conveniently bundled in four-can packs.

Backpack Wines come from Wahluke Slope, a part of the Columbia Valley in Washington State. The cans are 250 ml apiece, which is about one-third a standard bottle of wine. As many restaurants fill four glasses per bottle, you're getting a very generous pour in each can.

The cans are unbreakable and completely recyclable, and the wine is tasty and refreshing. No longer do you need to lug out a big ol' bottle to get your wine craving while you're hanging by the pool, relaxing on a boat, mini-golfing, BBQing, playing whiffle ball, hosting a gala event, or whatever other summer activities you enjoy.

No matter the occasion, make like Backpack's advice: "Skip the Cork and Grab a Pack." Backpack Wine is available in grocery and beverage retailers all throughout the country, or you can do a lil' shopping straight from their website.